GOOD BOOKS FOR YOUR WEEK-END
In this very literary season, the Nobel Prize of literature was just awarded this Thursday, you may feel the urge to dive into a good book this week-end. But what to choose? there are so many new books displayed on your public library shelves. Well, here are a few goodies I selected for you, new or not that new.
The Friar of Carcassonne: Revolt Against the Inquisition in the Last Days of the Cathars, by Stephen O’Shea (Sept 2011)
The Fatal Eggs, by Bulgakov (1925)
As the turbulent years following the Russian revolution of 1917 settle down into a new Soviet reality, the brilliant and eccentric zoologist Persikov discovers an amazing ray that drastically increases the size and reproductive rate of living organisms. At the same time, a mysterious plague wipes out all the chickens in the Soviet republics. The government expropriates Persikov’s untested invention in order to rebuild the poultry industry, but a horrible mix-up quickly leads to a disaster that could threaten the entire world.
This H. G. Wells-inspired novel by the legendary Mikhail Bulgakov is the only one of his larger works to have been published in its entirety during the author’s lifetime. A poignant work of social science fiction and a brilliant satire on the Soviet revolution, it can now be enjoyed by English-speaking audiences through this accurate new translation.
There but for the, by Ali Smith (June 2011)
At a dinner party in the posh London suburb of Greenwich, Miles Garth suddenly leaves the table midway through the meal, locks himself in an upstairs room, and refuses to leave. An eclectic group of neighbors and friends slowly gathers around the house, and the story of Miles is told from the points of view of four of them: Anna, a woman in her forties, Mark, a man in his sixties, May, a woman in her eighties, and a ten-year-old named Brooke. The thing is, none of these people knows Miles more than slightly. So how much is it possible for us to know about a stranger? And what are the consequences of even the most casual, fleeting moments we share every day with one another?
Brilliantly audacious, disarmingly playful, full of Smith’s trademark wit and puns, There But For The is a deft exploration of the human need for separation—from our pasts and from one another—and the redemptive possibilities for connections. It is a tour de force by one of our finest writers
The Living Mountain, by Nan Shepherd (2008)
“The Living Mountain” is a lyrical testament in praise of the Cairngorms. It is a work deeply rooted in Nan Shepherd’s knowledge of the natural world, and a poetic and philosophical meditation on our longing for high and holy places. Drawing on different perspectives of the mountain environment, Shepherd makes the familiar strange and the strange awe-inspiring. Her sensitivity and powers of observation put her into the front rank of nature writing
The Lives of a Cell: Notes of a Biology Watcher, by Lewis Thomas (1974)
Ghandi: A Manga Biography, by Kazuki Abine (Sept 2011)
SO, WHAT’S YOUR CHOICE FOR THIS WEEK-END?